My lovely guest today is the fabulous Ethan Day in all his witty glory. I was fortunate enough to meet Ethan at Gay Rom Lit and he certainly dazzled me with his wit and sarcasm and beautiful flowing locks. J He has a holiday story coming out on December 10 (today) with MLR Press called A Summit City Christmas.
Welcome, Mr. Day. First I have to ask you if you ever got your nuts back from Carol Lynne or is that a little TMI to begin the interview?
Wow! That was an awesome intro. I feel so good about me right now, thanks so much, K-lee. I must confess that Carol did return my nuts to me, lol. Naturally – flying down to New Orleans this past October my luggage was over the weight limit. SHOCKING!!! So Carol was kind enough to allow a few of my belongings to stow away in her luggage – my big-ass bag of Butter Toffee Almonds happened to be among those items. I’m completely addicted to them – it’s a sick, sad, co-dependent relationship.
1. How did you get started writing m/m romance? Did you always want to be a writer?
I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a writer. It was something that never occurred to me as an option. I’d always thought of writing as something only really smart people did, lol. Happily, I discovered it isn’t a requirement after all. I’m in!! I kinda stumbled into it while at college.
With regard to M/M – I honestly didn’t have to adjust the sort of thing I’d been writing since college – other than taking the glossed over sex that was already in the stories and expanding them, lol. Other than that, I’m writing exactly what I’ve wanted to since my very beginnings in a Gen-Ed Creative writing class.
2. What were your early influences either in this genre or any other?
My earliest influence would have to be Dr. Seuss, LOL! Between Seuss and Grimm’s Fairytales – those are the first books I remember reading and loving. I think I was about sixteen? LOL! Kidding!
I also have very distinct memories of the Ramona books. They really made me laugh. I loved reading when I was little – then I sort of fell away from it when I hit puberty and discovered all those classic films. I became a little obsessed with those movies.
It took Anne Rice and Armistead Maupin to suck me back into the joys of the written word. That was way back in my early twenties. Now I try to split my time between the two.
3. What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Hmm, I’m not sure, really. I think the hardest part would be, having to have the EDJ. I’d love to write full time and be able to promo properly. I love writing, but it can be like pulling teeth sometimes. Having limited time to do it makes that more difficult and frustrating. There’s often a lot of guilt when I take time away or feeling like I’ve wasted time when I’m less productive than I know I can be. It’s one of those catch 22 situations since sometimes taking an extra day off to do other things or nothing can be more rejuvenating than anything else. Right now I don’t feel like I have that luxury. Maybe someday, though! : )
4. Does any one of your books hold a special place in your heart more so than the others?
I’m not sure if I’d consider it a special place so much as having extra meaning to me. At Piper’s Point has a great deal of my own personal feelings and regrets woven into it, with regard to my relationship with my grandma. Not that either she or I are anything like Cassidy and Sadie, but I think it’s safe to say that my real life definitely inspired that book. I certainly found it cathartic – getting some of those feelings out and onto the page. I find myself going back to read a little piece from that book and before I know it, I’ve read multiple chapters – for whatever that’s worth – it seems to easily suck me back in.
5. Tell us a little about your Christmas story. Is it a new story or related to one of your other books?
My Christmas story, A Summit City Christmas, is part of the Summit City Series – aka the Sno Ho series, lol. For the people who are fans of Boone and Wade, it’ll be the appetizer before the main course – the final full-length book which will close out the series. I’m going to try my best to have that out by winter 2012.
Boone is certainly in rare form in this short. Like a lot of the food that seems to be forever around during this holiday season, I really wanted this story to pack a confectiony-power-punch, stuffing in as many laughs as I could squeeze into 13k.
It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to Boone after the last book is completed. I realize how much I’ve missed having this crazy character in my head each time I come back to him.
6. Do you have amy writing quirks? (ie computer has to be facing a certain way, cup of coffee on the left, certain music playing, etc)
Not really. I do play music while I’m writing most of the time. Some for white noise, some I use purposefully when I’m writing particular scenes that requires a specific tone. Other than that – I require butt loads of caffeine. Sugary coffee & hot chocolate infused concoctions created using my K-cup coffee maker and a multitude of flavored creams or Diet Coke by the vat-full. I cut myself shaving last week and bled Diet Coke. It was messed up! : )
7. Do you have any writing or reading squicks? Things you don’t like to read and can’t see yourself ever writing?
Gay for you I’m really not a fan of and I’m not a shifter kinda guy. Other than that I’ll read anything. In the end, though it comes down to characters. If the characters pull me in than an author could do just about anything to them and I’d stick around for the ride.
8. Being one of only a handful of men in a sea of women m/m writers, do you think your thoughts and experiences make your books more realistic to the genre or is fiction just fiction? Also, do you put a lot of yourself into your books?
No – I don’t think it requires a penis in order to write gay romance. A good writer is a good writer, period. There are a great many lady authors out there whose books I love and look forward to reading each time a new book is released. I do use bits and pieces of myself or friends here and there – certainly different situations I’ve run across over the years make it into the books.
9. What’s next on your plate? What are you working on? Doing any co-authoring? (hint hint)
I’ve actually got quite a full slate of books heading your way aside from the Summit City Christmas short. I’m just now finishing up a rough draft for Second Time Lucky – a book about ex college boyfriends who find their way back to one another fifteen years later. That should be available from MLR Press late spring or early summer of 2012.
My first stab at a non-romantic comedy, a fantasy based paranormal/historical titled A Token of Time should be available from MLR Press sometime around the first of the New Year. It’s definitely a different sort of story than people are used to seeing from me, so I’m anxious to hear what people think – and I have no doubt that I will hear, LOL!
Geoff Knight and I are working on finishing up our first co-writing project, To Catch a Fox. It’s what we’re hoping will be the first in a new adventure/mystery series set in and around New Orleans. Lots of family drama, murder, possibly an explosion or two, some steamy sex, a heaping helping of bantery goodness and laughs all rolled up into one saucy book. Look for this one to become available through Dare Empire, mid-summer 2012.
Other than that, I’ll be working on finishing up the final Summit City novel and the Self Preservation sequel.
10. Finally – a few quick choices:
a. Coffee or tea – Coffee – no contest.
b. Dog or cat – I’ve had both! Currently I’m a dog, though. LOL!
c. Beach or mountains – Um…Beach in the winter months and Mountains in the summer months. What? I’m greedy!
d. Pecs or abs - Seriously…like I could choose one over the other?
e. Smile or eyes – Again with these Sophie’s Choice kinda dilemma’s!?! What are you trying to do to me K-lee!!!
f. Cowboys or rockstars – OMG – I will now officially need therapy!! I hope you’re happy with yourself, young lady! : )
g. Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves? And why
– In my world there’s only hot sex! No fighting! Now, if the sex happened to get a teensy bit rough I might not complain…much. At least not until it stopped. : )
Ethan has graciously offered up a copy of his holiday story, A Summit City Christmas, to one lucky commenter on my blog. (Or a copy of Sno Ho – the first book in the series, should someone win who’s new to the Boone & Wade saga) BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. J
If you don’t win and haven’t already done so, you can pick it up at MLR Press A Summit City Christmas (please note - this is not the cover that will be displayed on the MLR site)
Be sure to check out Ethan’s website for all his other wonderful books.